United States/United Kingdom – -(AmmoLand.com)- When we talk about the need for the NRA to get involved in cultural engagement in order to establish a pro-Second Amendment culture, some might question the need. After all, Hollywood’s bias is well known, it’s arguably baked into the planning many Second Amendment supporters have. But this will matter – a lot – even if – correction, especially if the Supreme Court case on New York City gun regulations ends up with a favorable ruling.
Why? Think of it this way: In America, while the Constitution protects our God-given rights, the people still rule. The First Amendment not only protects the right of Second Amendment supporters to defend our freedoms, it also protects the right of anti-Second Amendment extremists to encourage the American people to throw out pro-Second Amendment elected officials and replace them with anti-Second Amendment extremists. And we need not kid ourselves: Anti-Second Amendment extremists have been running an incredibly effective long game against our right to keep and bear arms, one that is a full-spectrum fight that includes wielding pop culture against us.
One way is through those magazines you often see in the supermarket, either in the checkout aisle, or where others are stored. Two that blatantly snubbed women who support the Second Amendment in issues celebrating women who made a difference are People and the British edition of Vogue, the latter guest-edited by Meghan Markle.
But in those two magazines, we saw three anti-Second Amendment presidential candidates, a prime minister who inflicted an injustice on thousands of people in her country (when people are wrongly punished via having their legally-owned property confiscated over a shooting they did not carry out, an injustice has taken place), and a major media mogul who supported the extreme anti-Second Amendment group March 4 Our Lives. Excluded? Women who support our right to keep and bear arms.
No talk of Dana Loesch, who has defended the Second Amendment despite becoming a target for vicious slurs – and worse. What about Suzanna Gratia Hupp, who turned into an activist for our rights after her parents died in a mass shooting? There are countless other women who gave stood for the Second Amendment and have a great deal of accomplishment to their names, including former NRA President Marion Hammer, former NRA-ILA Executive Director Tanya Metaksa, and even NRA board members like Susan Howard or Sandra Froman (another former NRA President). People and Vogue don’t even mention them.
You may wonder why we should care about a magazine from the supermarket checkout aisle, or a publication devoted to fashion. Well, when they are leveraged to attack our rights, we need to care. Worse, these magazines have wide circulation. Between its English and Spanish versions, People reaches almost four million people a week. The American edition of Vogue reaches about 1.2 million. American Rifleman comes in at 1.85 million, or less than half that of People. Vogue has a larger circulation than either American Hunter (929,000) or America’s First Freedom (roughly 630,000).
People, incidentally, will also get mentioned in other news outlets and it sits in the waiting rooms of doctor’s offices – so the four million figure is probably low. Vogue also will crop up in those waiting rooms. American Rifleman? Not so much these days.
Finally, who reads those magazines? Well, much of that readership comes from the suburbs. One admitted success that anti-Second Amendment extremists like Michael Bloomberg have achieved is that they are doing well among suburban women – the proverbial “soccer moms” – precisely because they have them so scared of their kids’ school being the location of the next mass shooting that they don’t consider the facts.
Plus, look at who often turns up as the subjects of those magazines – Hollywood’s A-list. Say what you will, but the writers are good storytellers, and while the actors and actresses are often against our rights, we should not dismiss their ability to help along a narrative that makes Second Amendment supporters resisting the injustices like those that Beto O’Rourke wishes to inflict on us as the villains.
People and Vogue will be two of the venues used to spread that narrative. The NRA and other pro-Second Amendment groups are going to need to adjust to this new type of threat, and that will require changes. It will be very important for Second Amendment supporters to be mindful of how their approach in defense of our freedoms comes across, and to use the right techniques to convince our fellow Americans that the narrative that anti-Second Amendment extremists are presenting is phonier than a red carpet smile, instead of reinforcing the phony narrative.
About Harold Hutchison
Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.